Hilarious, charming and heartwarming, The Sessions is one of the best films of the year. It’s the true story of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), a California-based journalist relegated to a gurney and iron lung because of disabling polio. At the age of 38, he’s still a virgin and, with the blessing of his priest (William H. Macy), Mark hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to remedy the problem.
Directed by Ben Lewin, The Sessions is now open in select cities with plans to expand over the next few weeks. As that happens, buzz will begin to grow for the film, which makes complete sense considering the source material. This fictional take on a true story is based on the 1997 Oscar-winning Documentary Short Film Breathing Lessons, written and directed by Jessica Yu. It too centers on O’Brien, but instead of using sex as the window to his struggle, the short presents a more traditional, complete portrait of the man.
Check out the Oscar-winner that inspired a potential Oscar-winner after the jump. Read More »
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Terrence Malick‘s movies often aren’t about who is cast, but who makes the final cut. That’s nothing new for the director, but with him out shooting more film more often, and doing so in easy range of photographers, we’re getting to see more of his process than ever.
The latest set pics from Malick’s new film (formerly called Lawless, and currently untitled) feature Natalie Portman, blonde and looking every inch the Texas bar girl. There are shots of her with newly revealed co-stars Michael Fassbender and Holly Hunter, too. Will any of this stuff be in the final film? Your guess is as good as ours. Read More »
Here’s the trailer for Hitchcock, which stars Anthony Hopkins as the Master of Suspense, caught during the period in which he made Psycho. This is our first taste of Hopkins’ Hitchcockian affectation, and we can still hear quite a lot of the actor’s signature tone in there. It’s rather like Hitch by way of Hannibal Lecter. Which makes a certain sense, when you think about it.
There’s also the attempt to build a big drama around the creation of the film and the way that the people around Hitch dealt with his creative obsessions and eccentricities. Helen Mirren looks like she shines as Hitch’s wife Alma, who shoulders the burden of maintaining their marriage while also acting as a perpetual cheerleader and creative consultant.
And the rest of the supporting cast (Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, James D’Arcy, Michael Wincott, Richard Portnow, Kurtwood Smith) get some good moments, and the great kicker line toys with both the nature of Psycho star Janet Leigh, and that of Scarlett Johansson, who plays Leigh here. There’s also the appeal of seeing director Sacha Gervasi (Anvil! The Story of Anvil) recreate famous scenes from Psycho. Check out the trailer below. Read More »
The core of the US trailer for Stoker, from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook, was a wonderfully hateful little speech from Nicole Kidman as the threatened matriarch of the Stoker family. That speech is in this new UK trailer, but thrown toward the end, truncated, and cut up with other footage. The core here, instead, is the nature of her daughter, played by Mia Wasikowska. This trailer turns her character, India, into more of a sinister figure, and an overt threat. The effect is to heighten my already elevated interest in the film, not that it needed much help given the talent involved.
Stoker hits early next year, but you can get a new taste of it below. Read More »
Finally! We recently saw some footage from Stoker, which is the English-language debut from South Korean director Park Chan-wook, best known for the “vengeance trilogy” of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.
Stoker appears to be a thriller in the Hitchcock/De Palma vein, with a good dose of heated psycho-sexual tension, and some of Park’s characteristically lush visuals. After the death of the Stoker family patriarch, the women of the family, mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and daughter India (Mia Wasikowska), are visited by Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). Things get intense, and really weird.
Check out the trailer below. Read More »
We’ve seen a good bit of footage for one of the Alfred Hitchcock movies that are in post-production right now: The Girl, which will air on HBO with Toby Jones playing Hitch during the making of The Birds.
The other film is Hitchcock, from Anvil! director Sacha Gervasi, and it features Anthony Hopkins as the late director, with a focus on the making of Psycho. (The film is essentially an adaptation of Stephen Rebello’s book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.)
We don’t have a trailer or footage for Hitchcock at this point, so we can’t yet start to compare the performance of Hopkins with that of Jones, but what you see above is a hint of the new teaser poster for the film, which has now been dated for a good award season spot on this coming November 23. See the full poster below.
Edit: I’d originally written that the film will hit in 2013, which was incorrect — it is actually set for November of this year.
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Internships are a complicated thing. In certain industries, they’re a crucial way to gain experience and contacts before being eligible for paying jobs. On the other hand, interns are sometimes working just as hard, if not harder, than employees in order to get noticed and believe compensation should be given. Most internships do that in the form of college credit. Others, it’s just for a line on a resume. But with the cost of college increasing annually, it’s harder and harder for a college grad to accept a position that won’t immediately help pay off their loans.
In 2011, two interns who worked on Black Swan sued Fox Searchlight because they felt the internship program violated minimum wage and overtime laws. We wrote about it here. Now, the plaintiffs are looking to expand their case into a class action lawsuit again Fox Entertainment Global as a whole because the Fox Searchlight intern program has the same standards and practices as the one in place the bigger entity. There are more details and some healthy room for debate after the jump. Read More »
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The most striking film of the summer is Benh Zeitlin‘s first feature Beasts of the Southern Wild. The movie follows a young girl, Hushpuppy, as her patched-together coastal world starts to crumble. Her father falls prey to a sickness, and her home is destroyed, as giant horned boars, called Aurochs, are freed from icy prisons before rampaging towards Hushpuppy in a charge of… well, that’s the part I’ll leave to the film.
While Beasts isn’t much of a spoil-able story, this featurette might give a bit more away than some like. So those who have seen the film are a better audience for this than others. The Aurochs have a heavy presence in the story, and seeing them created in very simple ways provides a stark contrast to the images in the movie.
Take a look at how tiny pigs became monsters, below. Read More »